9 Ways to Stop Eating Processed Food and Lose Fat

9 Ways to Stop Eating Processed Food and Lose Fat

Intro (00:00:00)

  • Sean Stevenson and his guest discuss their past addiction to processed food and offer strategies to break free from it.
  • Processed food is often associated with childhood treats like the "bomb pop" truck.
  • One strategy is to upgrade beloved food experiences by using healthier ingredients.
  • Dark cherries are identified as one of the most nutrient-dense foods for improving metabolic health, sleep quality, and mental health.

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Upgrade Ingredients of Classic Treats (00:02:04)

  • Replace processed treats with homemade versions using higher quality ingredients.
  • Make cherry frozen yogurt pops using dark cherries, a natural source of melatonin, and stevia-sweetened lemonade.
  • Experiment with healthier versions of favorite treats, such as low-calorie lemonade popsicles.

Eliminating Foods that Combine Fats & Carbs (00:04:37)

  • Avoid processed foods that combine high amounts of fats and carbs, as they activate both reward pathways in the brain and increase addiction.
  • Examples of such foods include Doritos (high carbs and fat) and Snickers bars (high sugar and fat).
  • Opt for processed foods that keep fats and carbs separate, such as lower-fat, higher-carb options or higher-fat, lower-carb options.
  • Consider making healthier versions of favorite treats, such as Snickers bites, using higher quality ingredients.

Creating a Microculture of Healthy Choices (00:05:51)

  • Eating together as a family regularly promotes healthier diets, including more fruits, vegetables, and essential nutrients, while reducing the intake of unhealthy foods like ultra-processed foods, chips, soda, and artificial ingredients.
  • Eating together with children just three times a week can significantly reduce the risk of obesity and disordered eating in children, even in low-income environments.
  • The practice of eating together as a family encourages subconscious planning and the incorporation of more whole foods into the diet.
  • Unexpected circumstances can still allow for family dinners by using food delivery services to maintain the routine and benefits of eating together.
  • Eating together as a family can positively impact physical and psychological health, strengthen family bonds through rituals like sharing gratitude, and foster compassion in children through open communication.
  • Setting a goal of having three meals a week focused on real, whole foods can significantly reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods. Scheduling these meals in advance and writing them down on a calendar can help make them a priority.
  • Having a protein appetizer before meals can help reduce hunger and prevent overeating.

Protein Appetizer (00:13:11)

  • To avoid overeating processed foods, have a protein appetizer before grocery shopping or eating out, and engage in conversations while eating to slow down and make more conscious food choices.
  • Savor each bite of food and eat slowly to reduce stress, improve nutrient assimilation, and promote better digestion.
  • Limit the amount of processed foods consumed to reduce tolerance and addiction.
  • Eating with others can switch our nervous system from the sympathetic (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic (rest and digest) state, promoting better digestion.
  • Eating in isolation is associated with poorer diet quality, less satisfaction with food, and increased consumption of unhealthy foods.
  • The average adult in the United States consumes 60% ultra-processed food, while the average US child consumes 67% ultra-processed food.
  • To reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods, control the environment by not bringing them into the house and creating a kitchen culture that emphasizes healthy eating.

Have an Environment You Enjoy Cooking in (00:21:39)

  • Create a kitchen culture that makes you feel good about preparing healthy meals.
  • Find ways to make cooking an enjoyable experience, such as listening to music or having family members help out.
  • Create an environment that you look forward to stepping into to prepare healthier meals.
  • Keep healthy foods visible and accessible in your kitchen.
  • Remove unhealthy foods from your home.
  • Make healthy snacks easily available.
  • Plan your meals ahead of time to avoid making impulsive unhealthy choices.
  • Cook in bulk to save time and effort.

Stack Your Meals (00:24:29)

  • Make large batches of meals to reduce the frequency of cooking.
  • Freeze leftovers for easy access.
  • Avoid light, on-the-go breakfasts, as they often lead to poor food choices later in the day.
  • Prioritize breakfast and make it a centerpiece of your family's routine.
  • A larger, more nutritious breakfast can help regulate blood sugar and metabolism.
  • Avoid light breakfast options that can lead to increased hunger and poor food choices later in the day.

Have a Good Breakfast (00:27:08)

  • Prioritize having a good breakfast to reduce overall food intake throughout the day.
  • Protein-focused breakfasts, such as eggs, can increase satiety and improve metabolic markers compared to high-carbohydrate breakfasts like bagels.
  • Eating real, nutrient-dense foods for breakfast can promote satiety and reduce the desire for ultra-processed foods.
  • Ultra-processed foods dominate the average adult and children's diets in the United States, contributing to overconsumption and poor health outcomes.
  • Aim to shift the ratio of ultra-processed foods in the diet towards more real, nutrient-dense foods.
  • Gradually reduce the consumption of ultra-processed foods and increase the intake of whole, unprocessed foods.

Shift Ratio of Whole vs Processed Food Intake (00:31:08)

  • Aim for a 70:30 ratio of minimally processed or unprocessed foods to ultra-processed foods.
  • Prioritize whole foods for improved metabolic health, sleep quality, and energy levels.
  • Upgrade favorite desserts and dishes with real, whole food ingredients.
  • Honey is a nutritious sweetener with antioxidant and enzyme content.
  • Honey consumption can improve fasting blood sugar, blood lipids, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Honey has potential benefits in reducing neuroinflammation, which can lead to belly fat and insulin resistance.
  • Become more kitchen and food literate to make informed food choices.
  • Encourage and support extended family members to adopt healthier eating habits.

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